Case Number: 1481

Merry, Mrs. Paulina, body found in ditch, 87th St., near Western Av. Christian Merry, her husband, and James Smith arrested in Princeton, Ky., and brought to Chicago Dec. 19, 1897. Merry hanged April 22, 1898. Smith sentenced May 23, 1898 by Judge Waterman to eight months in County Jail. James Ryan arrested as accessory.


Date of Offense November 28, 1897
Date of Death November 28, 1897
Address 87th st., near Western Ave.
Type of Location Street, or other non-commercial public place/alley
Type of Public Place Street, sidewalk or alley
Location Description ditch
Type of Death Homicide
Type of Homicide Intentional murder
Weapon body found
Description Family quarrel
Total Number of Victims 1
Location ditch
Number of Defendants 3


Name Merry, Paulina
Gender Female
Race White
Employed Yes
VictimEmploymentType Outside labor force (incl. criminals)
Ethnicity Other, european
Occupation/ Skill Housewife
Related by Blood or Marriage Spouses


Name Merry, Christian
Gender Male
Ethnicity Other, european
Race White
Related by Blood or Marriage Spouses


Allegations of Police Corruption No
Arrest Made at Crime Scene Out of state arrest
Location of Arrest Princeton, Ky.
Time Between Crime and Arrest Weeks
Total Number of Defendants Arrested 3


Charges Against Defendant No
Type of Legal Decision Recorded Coroner, trial
Allegations of Police Corruption No
Length of Sentence Death penalty
Outcome of Trial Guilty of murder
Post Trial Information Death sentence carried out
Sentence Completed Yes